Jihad Diab, Mechanical Technical Director based in our Abu Dhabi office since September 2016 has recently been shortlisted as Engineer of the Year in the Construction Week Awards which celebrate the achievements of the region’s construction contractors and consultancies.

We took the time to chat with Jihad about what it takes to be selected as a finalist in these awards.

Can you give us an insight into your passion for engineering?

“I am passionate about design and installation and have been involved in innovative projects across many sectors including aviation, hotels, industrial, commercial, office fit-outs, healthcare and recreation. My responsibilities include teaching, research, design and supervision, construction and execution, and project management.

I am a Chartered Engineer holding distinctions in two Engineering Masters degrees; Mechanical and BSE with Sustainability, and I have over 28 years of experience in the building services industry.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role and technical ability within the projects you have been working on recently?

“Towards the end of 2017, I completed a VE optimization study and redesign for the cooling systems at the new Royal Atlantis Resort and Residences at Palm Jumeriah. Black & White Engineering was appointed to optimise the design and reduce the cooling load.  I worked very closely with the project stakeholders and interrogated each system component and managed to reduce the cooling load by 20% (approximately 10MWc). This was achieved by applying both thermal modelling studies and reasonable operational profiles to occupancy, internal loads and fresh air supply. The proposed reductions were reinforced by benchmarking against the existing usage on the Atlantis Hotel. This reduced the ETS size and provided an estimated cost saving on first year connection fees of AED 5.4 million and annual running cost of AED 5.8 million.”

“I also made a peer review study/analysis of the Mechanical design of Yas Arena and helped to propose design optimization solutions at tender stage which eventually aided the contractor to win the project. I am now providing technical support to the contractor during construction and am safeguarding them against technical and commercial risks especially on the unique application of the proposed ice thermal storage system. I always challenge proposed systems and enforce enhancements to deliver cost effective, sustainable solutions and easy installation/commissioning methods.”

“I have been working on data centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and designed the sequence of operation for the main chiller plant room and the specific free and mixed mode cooling scenarios. I have created a yearly load analysis, depicting the potential energy savings for the different scenarios (max saving reached 15%).”

“As part of Black & White’s continuous technology forecast, I have been assigned the task of investigating cooling options for large scale data centres. I carried out an in-depth study of the market’s conventional and non-conventional cooling systems, reviewed manufacturers white papers and studied solutions for combined and dedicated IT and Mechanical power strings. The study projected cooling options with very low peak and annualized PUE values. Different evaporative cooling solutions and a trigeneration CHP option were the main findings.”

What can you bring to your team at Black & White?

“I always ensure members of my team understand complex systems through workshops, one-on-one sessions, sketches, spreadsheets or presentations. I am very mindful of adjusting my approach according to the technical understanding of the recipient.”

How have you been managing your own professional development at Black & White?

“I manage my own professional development by sharing knowledge, giving market/technology investigating tasks to team members then making joint reviews and arranging seminars from local manufacturers and suppliers. I also participate in activities of ASHRAE local chapter, attending international/local seminars and conferences, and am currently preparing to earn new qualifications from ASHRAE BEAP.”

We can understand why Jihad has been successfully shortlisted as a finalist for the Engineer of the Year Award. At Black & White we pride ourselves in employing the best technical experts across a range of sectors who are supported by high calibre engineers and BIM technicians. At all levels, key attributes beyond technical proficiency, include their drive, energy, resourcefulness and ambition. Our team are extremely motivated, and it shows. All Black & White’s personnel strive toward continual improvement as individuals and therefore continually improve Black & White as a business with the aim to make us the number one choice for clients looking for top quality MEP consulting services.

We wish Jihad the best of luck in these award finals.